As I mentioned in my last post, Bud Stenberg came to visit us in Fishtown last week. We shared a few of his photos with you then and, as promised, we’re back with some more photos and postcards that Bud has generously shared from his collection.
These are images of Pentwater’s bustling commercial fishing history. Bud is in these photos, as is his brother Fritz and their fishing tug, Maggie Lynn.
Like Leland (Fishtown is Leland’s historic fishing district), Pentwater is a small Lake Michigan shoreline town that’s become a summertime visiting destination. What’s different is that you won’t find any trace of this fishing life along Pentwater’s shores today.
The fishing villages scattered through coastal towns – a lot of them were actually called “fishtowns” – were built of wood, and all were constantly exposed to the wind and the waves. When commercial fishing ended, the fishtowns were pulled down (or just fell down), and now other things are in their place.
This is why we’re preserving Fishtown in Leland, and why Fishtown remains an active commercial fishery. We want to keep Fishtown alive not only for this one place but as a way of keeping alive a way of life that once spread around the entire Great Lakes. The life that keeps Bud returning to Fishtown.
We hope you enjoy these moments and faces from Pentwater’s fishing world. We also hope these will remind us all of how easy it is to to let the the important things slip away, if we stop paying attention.